Officials from Team Rafale are quietly confident that a deal for up to 60 airplanes will be made with the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, they are signing agreements here at the show with local entities that further strengthen the French influence in Emirati education and industry.
United Arab Emirates
Local low-fare airline Flydubai yesterday inked a pair of aircraft financing deals worth $160 million. Also here at the Dubai Airshow, it signed a contract with Goodrich to supply wheels and carbon brakes for its first 54 Boeing 737s.
Maximus Air Cargo announced yesterday that it is joining forces with Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Airports Co. (ADAC) to launch “Care By Air,” a humanitarian effort that will provide cargo space at cost for relief aid to disaster-stricken areas of the world. Supporting members include the United Arab Emirates’ Red Crescent and the United Nations World Food Program, and more are expected to join soon.
Al Ain-based Horizon International Flight Academy, which has assembled a fleet of nearly 30 aircraft since it was established in 2002, is looking for growth opportunities.
Emirates Charter Intros Exotic Travel Packages
Empire Aviation Group (EAG) has announced plans for “Lifestyle@Empire,” an extension to the company’s luxury charter operations that will offer travel packages to exotic destinations and experiences. The first packages will focus on global sporting and themed events, providing travel, unique access to the events and other benefits.
The new Gulf Wings UAE operation of Jordanian charter/ management company Arab Wings is up and running as of yesterday when the company received its air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates.
The 2009 Dubai Airshow will seek to buck the aerospace industry’s downward trend when it opens its doors this morning. But it seems highly unlikely that this will manifest itself in announcements of significant new aircraft orders, even though Middle East airlines are themselves outperforming the stagnant traffic levels in other parts of the world.
Canada-based Skyplan, a flight-services provider, plans to open an office in Dubai in February to complement its existing Sharjah office, which opened a year ago, and to better serve clients operating out of Dubai International Airport and elsewhere in the region.
Until about a year ago, the Dubai economy laid a fair claim to being the mother of all modern property booms with new skyscrapers appearing on its skyline at a breathtaking rate. However, once ripples from the global financial crisis started to hit Dubai’s shores, it appeared that many of the developments may figuratively have been built on sand without the firm foundation of sustainable demand.
The world’s aerospace industry could use a morale boost, and it might just get it at the 2009 Dubai Air Show (November 15 to 19) at the end of a year that has brought little but austerity and uncertainty. The Middle East has been a strong generator of growth over the past decade, and the market’s potential to revive otherwise sluggish sales in the aerospace sector is more important now than ever before.